The engine of your business isn't you, your product, nor your stellar supply chain-- it's the momentum you have. The only true job of a leader is to inspire momentum in their teams and then ensure this movement is heading in the right direction.
There are many components that matter in business, but momentum is where the power comes from. You create it by creating energy, removing barriers or obstacles, and making change easier. It's like starting the engine of your car, hitting the gas, and reaching maximum velocity in seconds. The question is, how do you hit the start button that inspires your team to take action?
While it can be fun to ride the tailwinds of already existing motion, true success comes from leaders who build momentum at all times. Here's how to do just that.
I like to look at business like running a race. Before you can get to the starting line, you need to stretch and get rid of any soreness or injury from previous races if you want to win.
In business, this could look like setting aside time to review failures or missteps from previous businesses, your experience hiring and firing people, or adding and purging products and ideas. The key here is to take away lessons and not let the negative aspects linger in your mind as you move forward.
When it comes to building new or more momentum you must do so with clear energy. Remove any baggage that exists from previous projects, product launches, or customers. Once you've done this, everyone is standing on the starting line, muscles flexed ready for the buzzer to go off.
In my businesses, this looks like expressing gratitude and discussing closure for what was. I make sure to individually acknowledge people for their efforts and then follow up by saying, "We expect even more from you now." Inspire them to want more not only for the business but for themselves. It's from here that the race will begin.
2. Host kick-off calls.
Kick-off calls are a great way to inspire momentum, especially during this time of remote work. This isn't the time to be nonchalant about your business. Be the one who comes in filled with energy, passion, and excitement for what lays ahead. From this high energy, deliver the new plan, layout needs, and establish a sense of accountability amongst the team.
During this kick-off, I always refer back to why it matters, I reignite the image of why we do what we do to evoke emotion that may have fallen dormant. Having a solid grasp around how the work ahead will create a positive impact helps remind your team of the value they provide. When things get tough, and they will, being able to default back to this emotion and intention will boost the momentum before it dips.
3. Take the pulse of your team.
Momentum isn't a one and done kind of deal. You must continually invest time to ensure it builds, not deflates. I hold weekly check-ins with my teams. In fact, we have both Monday and Friday morning meetings.
On these calls, we discuss what people did to ensure momentum was happening and if it didn't, discuss why. Was it the employee, the project, the goal itself? This is where you can catch a loss of energy on your team, gauge whether things are getting heavy, and cut something if it isn't working.
Movement isn't about forcing things. It is about flowing in the progress of ease and energy. You lose momentum when things get heavy. I have found this often occurs when energy builds up due to an obstacle in the way, like that of a dam. You must remove the obstacle in order to ensure you are flowing on the path of least resistance.
There is a saying in business, "Build the wave, then ride it". Start taking steps to build the wave within your business, and while you are riding that wave's energy, prepare to keep the next swell coming.